This sauce combines the best of seasonal stone fruit with Chinese New Year celebrations. As good with an Asian inspired meal as it is next to BBQ meat, you just can’t go wrong with this sauce.
Wipe, halve and stone the plums, then put them in a wide, deep saucepan. Pour in the red wine vinegar.
Slice the ginger thickly and add to the saucepan along with the salt and all the spices and mix well.
Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 40 mins or until the plums are soft, stirring occasionally.
Place a large sieve over a bowl or clean saucepan, pour the plums and their liquid into it then push as much of the fruit as you can through the sieve.
Return the mixture to the stove, add the soy sauce and the sugar and simmer, with the occasional stir, until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins, taking care the mixture doesn’t burn. It should be dark and glossy.
Taste the sauce, it should be sour, sweet and salty and wonderfully fruity. Pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge.
800 grams ripe red-fleshed plums
400ml red wine vinegar
4 star anise
4cm piece fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cinnamon quill
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
4 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
80ml tamari or soy sauce
125 grams soft brown sugar